Today is my 14th day of working on Baptiste’s “40 Days to Personnel Revolution.” You can read about the 40 Days and my experiences during week 1 here.
Week two has been truly eye-opening for me.
The theme for week two is Vitality. Baptiste states, “Vitality is very simply an energy that comes from living a life of enlightened knowledge and action. When we do what we know to be right and true, we are revitalized and renewed right where we live,” (1). The two laws that go along with this week’s yoga practice, meditation, self-inquiry, and diet are “Step Out of Your Comfort Zone,” and “Commit to Growth.” Both of these sentiments directly align with my original purpose for this blog and, maybe because of this, I found some of Baptiste’s writing in these sections to be particularly thought provoking.
On stepping outside of your comfort zone, Baptiste States: “We are afraid to let go, to face the groundlessness and uncertainty. Way down deep, we feel that if people saw the unmasked us, the naked us, the authentic us, they would recoil in horror. We are terrified of ourselves, so we maintain the illusions, patch the leaks, and hide. We have become so very sophisticated at presenting our masks that we almost fool ourselves, but not quite. Many of us sense that something is wrong and that deep change is needed – a brave unveiling of who we are out our core,” (2). I thought a lot about this passage this week. One of my goals for 2019 is to “choose courage.” Recently, that has looked like sharing more of my life and my stories with old and new friends. I am striving to be more authentic, more open, and more present for others.
While there is no doubt that this builds trust and strengthens connection, for me it is also never short of terrifying.
The emotions that this passage evokes also are applicable as I think about this week’s meditation practice, and as I share here what came up for me.
The concept behind this week’s meditation was to notice the negative thoughts that we consistently and habitually replay in our heads. When I tuned in, what I heard was jarring: I’m not good enough / smart enough, I’m not pretty enough, I’m a burden, I’m sick, I’m disconnected, I can’t do this, I’m behind, I’m going to be late, There’s not enough time.
I started recognizing these themes replaying themselves in my head throughout the day, impacting my mood and likely impacting my decisions and my interactions. I am a firm believer that we manifest what we focus on through the compilation of every minor decision we make and interaction we have. With that in mind, it won’t surprise my friends to hear that I so often have the thought “I’m going to be late.”
Noticing these thoughts is only the first step to achieving change. The work I have in front of me is to let them go as they come up. I’m also trying to replace them with another authentic and positive thoughts that I consciously choose.
One thing came up for me in this week’s self-inquiry that I want to record here as a reminder to myself. I feel most energized and present when I am creating. That shows up in many different ways for me: writing, designing a new piece of jewelry, or thinking about a new project or new recipe. The catalysts for creativity often come when I am out on a long run or on some other solitary endeavor, often in nature. Consciously recognizing this helps me intellectually justify making time away from the ever-present busyness to create more space for these circumstances in my life.
On a lighter note, I really enjoyed this week’s 30-minute yoga practice. Shockingly, morning yoga is quickly becoming a habit for me. I’m starting my day earlier and feeling more energized. It is still a momentary battle with myself every day to start the practice and get myself moving, but once I get on the mat I feel great.
I did take one complete rest day this week, and I was extremely antsy. Next week, I may try one day with just gentle stretching in the morning, or a shorter practice, or a morning walk and see how that feels.
Next week, I also want to focus more on the diet aspect of the program. This week’s focus was on choosing whole foods. I am already on a diet that consists primarily of whole foods, and I was a bit cavalier about the assignment. However, I did start to notice that I am increasingly using convenience foods (although ones that contain simple and whole ingredients), I’m eating meals quickly and without focus, and I’m eating chocolate, dates, and plantain chips when I’m feeling frustrated, tired, or sad. I am committing to changing these habits over the next week.
(1) Baptiste, Baron. 40 Days to Personal Revolution. 2004, Baptiste Power Yoga Institute, Inc. p101.
(2) Baptiste, p13.